Much like Microsoft, Google has decided to try their hand in the communication world. With the release of Chromebox, Google is stepping into enterprise video conferencing. Are they taking a calculated risk with this move?

Let’s start by sizing up the Chromebox. Essentially, this Google offering includes a hardware video conferencing endpoint, along with video conferencing service. The hardware includes codec, 1080p HD camera, microphone and speaker, and remote control. The user must supply the display.

So far, so good. As anticipated, the system is designed to easily integrate with all of Google’s apps. This is particularly useful for companies that utilize Google Hangouts or Google Docs, as external users can join meetings as long as they are Google subscribers.

Chromebox can scale to hundreds or even thousands of systems, and can interface with other video conference systems and PBX systems for voice integration, although extra hardware or services may be required.

On paper, Chromebox seems a solid choice for video conferencing. But, like Microsoft Lync, there is bound to be setbacks. For starters, like deployments with any legacy equipment, there will be some hiccups with integration, additional cost of services, and testing.

As Chromebox evolves, it will be interesting to see how it further integrates the ability to record conference feeds and voice calls, as well as archive instant messages through Hangouts to meet growing compliance needs. As of now, it is a great communication tool, but has potential to improve through further communication management.